College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Sociology > Faculty > Black Hawk Hancock

Black Hawk Hancock

  • ​​

  • Associate Professor, Chair of the Department of Sociology and Co-Editor of Sociological Perspectives
  • ​​PhD
  • Sociology
  • Faculty
  • 773.325.4050
  • 990 West Fullerton Avenue, Room 1205
Professor Hancock's next book, In-Between Worlds: Mexican Kitchen Workers in Chicago’s Restaurant Industry (under contract with the University of Chicago Press), supplements the demographic-political-economic understandings of male undocumented Mexican immigrants in the United States with an ethnographic perspective to provide concrete, on the ground, flesh and blood experiences of the people who are the objects of those statistical calculations. Specifically, this study explores how Mexican immigrant kitchen workers who are the backbone of the restaurant industry in Chicago exist in multiple worlds simultaneously; they left home in pursuit of economic success in a different land, hoping someday to return home. This story of migration leaves them in-between worlds: as they are tethered to a past, invested in their present situation, and aspiring towards a future. Here, in this precarious location where immigration, race, ethnicity, culture, work, and identity collide, a sense of belonging and community serve as foundations for perseverance. In doing so, we see how these men draw upon their local material and symbolic resources to construct their identities, culture, and most importantly, the reasons and convictions that define and shape their worlds.
His next major empirical project addresses the issue of climate change in relation to migration and Mexican immigrants as vulnerable populations. Drawing on cases from farmworkers and agricultural laborers to those employed in landscaping, the floral industry, and California’s massive viticulture, the defining underlying vulnerability of these populations requires a biopolitical assessment—focusing on the regulation and governance of the security, territory, and populations of migrant’s milieus- the personal and physical associations they have with their work conditions, their living conditions, and the connections that hold them together as interconnected pieces of the same problem. This biopolitical approach to climate and migration illuminates the inherent vulnerability of both the foundation for the governance of everyday life, and the shaping forces of globalization that define the contours of migration and their destinations.

His teaching focuses primarily on classic and contemporary theory, urban ethnography, and race/ethnicity and culture.

Research Interests:

  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Culture
  • Urban Sociology
  • Environmental Sociology
  • Ethnography

Recent Publications:

Hancock, Black Hawk and Roberta Garner. "Goffman and Criminology" Sociology Companion Series on Great Sociological Thinkers: Erving Goffman. Michael Haviid Jacobsen (ed.) Anthem Press. Forthcoming.

2020-2023 Hancock, Black Hawk and Bryan L. Sykes (Eds.) Sociological Perspectives, Volumes 63-65.

2021 Hancock, Black Hawk and Roberta Garner. “Erving Goffman and 'The New Normal': Havoc and Containment in the Pandemic Era," The American Sociologist 52(3): 548-578.

2018 Hancock, Black Hawk and Roberta Garner.​ “Reintegrating Theories, Methods, and Historical Analysis in Teaching Sociology.” The American Sociologist 49: 36-391.

2018 Hancock, Black Hawk and Daniel R. Morrison. “The Ethnographer's Circle: Institutionalizing Ethnography in the Pacific Sociological Association.” Sociological Perspectives 61(2): 195-206.

2018 Hancock, Black Hawk, Bryan Sykes, and Anjuli Verma. “The Problem of "Cameo Appearances" in Mixed-Methods Research: Implications for 21st-Century Ethnography." Sociological Perspectives 61(2): 314-335.

2017 Skyes, Bryan, Anjuli Verma, and Black Hawk Hancock. “Aligning Sampling and Case Selection in Quantitative- Qualitative Research Designs: Establishing Generalizability Limits in Mixed-Method Studies." Ethnography 19(2): 227-253.

2016 Hancock, Black Hawk and Daniel R. Morrison. “Beyond the Anticipatory Corpse: Medicine, Power, and the Care of the Dying: A Theoretical and Methodological Intervention into the Sociology of Brain Implant Surgery.” The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 41(6): 659-678.

2016 Fine, Gary Alan and Black Hawk Hancock. “The New Ethnographer at Work” Qualitative Research 17(2): 260-268.​